As an Aussie website born and bred we couldn't leave out a review about a Kangaroo now, could we!
Kangaroo Campervans, based out of Sydney since 1998, have been an offshoot of Network Car and Truck Rentals since their inception in 1995. Owned and operated by the family-run Collard Cars Pty Ltd., they are not affiliated with any multinational group and take particular pride in their independence, which they say allows them to offer a high standard of personalised service.
What Kangaroo Tell Us
Kangaroo present themselves as a “one-stop shop” for campervan holidays in Australia. In practice, this means not only that they cover the full range of motorhomes available for rental, from two-man flat-top ‘campette’ models to a six-berth motorhome, but that they seek to provide an ‘all-in-one’ service — so linen and bedding, kitchenware, outdoor furniture, unlimited kilometres and basic insurance are all included with the cost of any rental.
They emphasise their range of depots and service contacts around the country (most on the east coast in Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney, although they also have locations in Darwin and Perth) — customers can drop off their hired vehicles at any of these.
Airport pickup is also available.
Kangaroo’s vehicles are Toyota and Ford makes, and there are four different models from which to choose: two 2/3-berths (although one is a good deal smaller than the other and is more of a 2-berth vehicle at heart), a 4-berth and a 6-berth. While this may not be as much choice as other motorhome hire companies offer, there’s an appreciable simplicity in the sleekness of this fleet, with each model suitable for a different party size.
The vehicles are relatively old, with the smallest (and most budget-friendly) model, the Economy Poptop, dating from 2002 to 2004; other vehicles date variously from 2007, 2008 and 2009. While older vehicles aren’t always popular with holidaymakers, there’s an upside to the age of this fleet: with all the miles they’ve done and all the country they’ve traversed, they’re still in good enough nick to serve as rental vehicles today.
Comparing Fleet Vehicles
The Economy Poptop is great for those on a shoestring budget. Seating three and sleeping two (although it can technically sleep three, as one bed is situated in the pop-up roof, with one double in the body of the vehicle), and with manual transmission, it’s ideal for a couple, either solo or with a child. Provided with the vehicle — as with all the vehicles — are an awning, outdoor chairs and table, a microwave and all linen and kitchen equipment.
The Hi-Top, a 2008 Toyota Hi-Ace, can also accommodate two adults and one child. The main differences between this and the Poptop are the Hi-Top’s larger size, as well as its provision of a sink, 40-litre fridge and two-hob gas cooktop. The driver’s cab also has both air conditioning and heating. This model is good for a couple or a small family, but despite its largeness relative to the Poptop, it’s a bit of a tight squeeze inside, so if you value your space, it might be a good idea to look at a bigger vehicle.
The Sherwood Budget Micro, a Toyota Hilux, is a 4-berth model that’s fairly economical for its size, running at 14 litres per 100 kilometres. The bed in the cabover sleeps two, and is the same size as the other double in the rear. Seating two in the cabin and two in the rear, this model will serve a family of three or four very well. A basic kitchen with sink, microwave, two-hob gas cooktop, fridge and hot water is contained within the living area, and there’s also a very small but functional toilet and shower.
The biggest vehicle offered by Kangaroo is the Sofala Budget 6-berth, a Ford Transit. It can accommodate up to four adults and two children, with two fully-sized double beds and one mid-size bed (still larger than a standard single at 1 x 2 metres), and has air conditioning. The kitchen is fitted with a sink, a four-hob gas cooktop, a 90-litre fridge and a microwave, while the bathroom contains a toilet and shower; there’s also a standalone gazebo provided with the vehicle.
Insurance is included in all rates quoted on the website, and the renter is responsible for a damage liability fee ranging from $400 to $5000. Payment of an excess reduction fee is optional at $25 per day, which reduces excess to $400 for drivers of over 25 years of age, and $1000 for drivers 21-24 years. Unlike with some other companies, this is the only excess reduction option available, which is a little disappointing.
At the time of collection, the estimated rental value is charged upfront and a pre-authorisation is made to the renter’s credit card for the applicable security bond. Provided that the vehicle is returned undamaged and no additional charges apply (such as for fuel), the pre-authorisation will be cancelled by the card issuer within three to seven working days.
Overhead, underbody and water damage are not covered.
Kangaroo have little feedback, which is in line with the principle that ‘no news is good news’ — people don’t tend to leave feedback when they’re satisfied. A couple of reviews around the internet, though, point up a few issues — notably that the company’s agents at other depots than the central location in Sydney can be unhelpful, and that vehicles haven’t always been in great condition.
The central office, however, have been widely praised for their helpfulness, and people report that prices are very reasonable for the quality of what you get.
While this company don’t have a lot of information on their website, travellers generally report positive experiences at good prices.